Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Clean hands, Pure heart.

"The earth is the Lord's, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it; for he founded it on the seas and established it on the waters.Who may ascend the mountain of the LORD? Who may stand in his holy place? Those who have clean hands and a pure heart, who do not put their trust in an idol or swear by a false god." - Psalm 24

Thank you Jesus for being so much bigger than I could ever imagine or dream. Thank you for creating this beautiful world in which we live. Thank you for the promise you give to those who seek to have clean hands and pure hearts. Thank you for giving me grace I do not deserve and a love that I cannot deny. You are so very, very good.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Livin the life.

Hello blogging world!! I'm sorry I've been M.I.A. these past few weeks...errrrrr maybe months. Life has been so....(surprising?) lately. And I've been LOVING it. So much. Every day.
Here's a quick catch up:

- I am now a Tate's Day Camp employee!!! I love everything about my job: the work (if you can call it that), the setting, the people, the children. God has been working in my heart a lot through this experience...but more on that later.
- Red Saile is still my home!! As of March, I was moving out. Thankfully, I realized before it was too late that I would miss it wayyyyy too much, and after a little persuasion to make my parents let me stay, it was a done deal.
- I am a University of Tennessee graduate and hopefully future ETSU doctorate student. Fingers crossed I get an interview for August 14th. 
- I've started reading again. If you really knew me you'd know that I'm not a big reader. In the past, I've blamed it on not enough time, but the truth is I don't think I like the commitment. So here's to finishing every book I start to read this summer.
- Photography is my new thing. Mom and Dad got me a spiffy camera for graduation, and I'm in love. My roommates can verify that I'm obsessed with using it and have forced them to be my models multiple times. (Michelle Branch, I'm still after you, just so you know.)
- I'm learning a lot about grace. I feel like that's the theme in my life right now. Jesus is showing me daily this precious gift He offers me so that I can offer it to others, and I'm thankful He can love me so well.
- I'm a HUGE fan of the 4th. It's the best. Especially when it includes lake+sleepovers+friends+hot dogs+baked beans+watermelon+boats+tubes+slides+fireworks+guns+freedom+dancing+laughing+smiling a lot.

I'll leave you with a few of those things that make me smile:

           "Be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus." -2 Timothy 2:1

Sunday, April 29, 2012

My heart is signing this song today: "You're rich in love, and You're slow to anger, Your name is great, and Your heart is kind, For all Your goodness, I will keep on singing, Ten thousand reasons for my heart to find."

                                                    Our God is good. All the time.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Running Scared.

"For I know the plans I have for you" declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." -Jeremiah 29:11

Lately I've been running scared. To everyone and everything but the One who wants me most....

I feel like so much of my life is uncertainty right now. Which is crazy since I believe planning things out to be one of my strengths. I almost always have a plan for how I think things are going to happen before they actually do. I envision the end result I'm expecting before I even make a single move.

So the fact that the Lord has given me this blank page in my life right now is so terrifying....

Or is it??

The devil tries to tell me that it is. He's seemed to know exactly which insecurities and temptations to throw at me these past few weeks so that I'm left feeling scared. Feeling inadequate. Feeling weak.

But the truth is, my life isn't a blank page. It isn't empty at all. It's completely planned out. Completely orchestrated. Completely finished. And what's even better is I don't have to worry about a thing, other than listening to Jesus' voice, as He whispers the plan to me. In His own time. In His own way.

"I want you to stop planning, stop wishing, and allow Me to give you the most thrilling plan existing - one that you cannot imagine. I want you to have the best. Please allow Me to bring it to you. You just keep watching Me - expecting the greatest things.
Keep experiencing the satisfaction that I am. Keep listening and learning the things I tell you - you just wait. That's all - don't be anxious - don't worry - don't look around at the things others have gotten or that I've given them. Don't look at the things you think you want. Just keep looking off up to Me or you'll miss what I want to show you."

Monday, March 26, 2012

"Let's Do It. Let's Go To The Beach."

Spring Break 2012... Man oh man was it fun! I can't believe it's already happened and instead of waking up every morning and heading out to the beach, we are all waking up and going to class. Thank goodness it was at least warm when we rolled back into town. I don't think I could have coped with coming back to the cold again after being in 80 degree weather for a solid week. Good riddance to you wintertime (hopefully)!!!

There were so many great things about Spring Break. Obviously, besides the fact that I got to spend a week in the sun and finally not look like Casper anymore, I got to hang out with 12 of the coolest people I know.

We laughed. A LOT. We learned how to perfect skim boarding and corn hole. We danced (who knew Molly Young had such sick dance moves??). We ate. SO much. We learned that Local Blue Crab does not equate by any means to Alaskan Snow Crab (really I'm the one who learned this...the hard way). We saw Dane in his infamous American/Patriotic/Tiny/Not OKAY speedo run down the beach and scare the visitors and locals. We had the beach patrol stop to tell the boys to get out of the water (not once, but twice). We (all the girls) shared a big room with seven beds in it that I wish more than anything we could just transport to Knoxville so we could all be together like that again. We listened to a lot of country. And a lot of Pandora Destiny's Child Radio (Thanks for making the car ride SO enjoyable for all of us Lil Nikki with this revelation). And we had a good time just being with one another.

I relived the week again tonight by editing picture and making a photobook (thanks Shutterfly for having great specials this week- you rock!) And I hope we really can relive this spring break again. I know we won't always have a spring break, in fact, this is my last one ever, but I hope that there is some week every year that I can take off of work and just live life with friends. My prayer is that in 20, even 30 years from now, we will all still know each other, all still be going on "spring break" together, and all still having so much fun doing it.

So until next "spring break," I'll leave you with these gems:

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Sunshine Happiness

Days like today, when the sun is shining and the weather is warm and gorgeous, make me happy. And thankful

Thankful for Sundays spent at home with my family, eating meals together and being blessed with rich conversations.
Thankful for coming home to my other "home", Red Saile, and knowing that in the next couple hours, I'll get to spend time laughing, being silly, and talking about life with 4 of the best humans I know.
Thankful that this past weekend, two of my favorites surprised me by coming to Knoxville and taking time out of their busy schedules to hang out with me.
Thankful my Grandparents have set the best example for me of what it looks like to love one another as Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for it. When I'm around them, I see them die daily to themselves to serve the Lord and then serve one another, and it's beautiful. They are celebrating 65 years together this coming Sunday and I couldn't feel any happier about it.
Thankful that while school is stressful and hard right now, I can see the light at the end of the tunnel, and I can feel that it's going to lead me to something exciting, new, and wonderful.
Thankful that Jesus is SO evident in my life right now. I feel Him fighting for me daily. I feel Him winning. I see Him all around me, doing big things, planting big dreams, changing lives, changing hearts.

I hope you can find a few things in your life today you're thankful for too.

"We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts were conscious of our treasures." -Thornton Wilder

Wednesday, March 7, 2012


Watch this video. Now!!! I know it's 30 minutes, but promise you won't regret it if you do.


Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Oh My Soul...Faint Not.

Wheww! It's been a while since I've blogged.... part of that is due to my crazy school schedule this semester (17 hours + 4 labs a week + 10 straight hours of classes on Thursdays = me being exhausted by Friday afternoon), and the other part is a combination of just everything else (family, friends, Young Life, figuring out what's after college, etc.). Lately I've been feeling there are never enough hours in my day. It seems like I wake up, run around like crazy for a few hours, and the next thing I know it's already time to go back to sleep again. And by the time the weekend rolls around, I'm left feeling so physically and emotionally drained. To the point where it's become not okay.

But that's the cool part about Jesus meeting us where we are. Right where we are. No matter what state we are in, or what our circumstances may be. I truly believe the only reason I make it through Thursdays sometimes is because Jesus lends me His strength for that day.

As I was getting ready for bed tonight, I started to think about Thursdays and how much I dread them. This idea of dreading something led my mind to wander to the future and about the idea of working. And this idea of working led me to think about doing work week three years ago (congrats if you're still with me through that thought process). It was the first time I had ever done Windy Gap work week, and honestly I almost didn't go because none of my friends could (that seems so silly to me now).

Thankfully Jesus had a better plan for me than I had for myself, and I went and ended up meeting some incredible people and forming new friendships, which now I am really thankful for. Two of the people I met while at work week are named Jenny and Tyler. They were the guest performers for us, and they are A-W-E-S-O-M-E. I mean, not only are they extremely talented musicians, but they are in love with the Lord, and in love with each other and completely adorable about it. What could be better???

....And I tell you all this because their song "Faint Not" is exactly where I am right now.

Earlier tonight I got the privilege of getting to watch the movie "Beware of Christians" with a few of my friends. Honestly, I'm not exaggerating when I say it changed me. I've never been more emotionally moved or challenged by a movie before. I'm telling y'all, if you haven't seen it, you need to. While poverty and how Christ asks us to respond to it was just one of the areas explored in the movie, the underlying theme of what it looks like to go out and love on people was the basis of what the four individuals in "Beware of Christians" tried to figure out how to do.

What's even better is that two of the guys who are in the movie are COMING to Knoxville NEXT week. That's right, a week from today (Wednesday, March 14 @ 8:00 on UT's Campus) they will be HERE and have a meet and greet after the showing of their movie.

I can't even begin to explain to you how great this movie is (again). Whether you believe in Jesus or not, it's a movie that is worth seeing. The trailer can probably do it more justice than I can by writing a synopsis, so here ya go:

I know where I'll be next Wednesday night. I hope you're there too :)

Sunday, February 19, 2012

You know Me better than Me.

It's funny how sometimes someone else knows you way better than you know yourself. I've been lucky enough to walk through life with one of my best friends now for almost 14 years. And I honestly believe sometimes she knows what's going on with me better than I do. Maybe that's because we've been through a lot together. She keeps me grounded. She keeps me humble. She knows how to make me laugh harder than almost anyone else I know. She's smart. She's funny. She's beautiful inside and out. She's not afraid to act absolutely stupid with me most of the time.

But I think the thing I love most about her is that she's real with me. She's never afraid to tell me the truth. Whether it's good or bad, easy or hard, makes me happy or sad...

And for that I'm so thankful. She sent me this yesterday, and it was something that I really needed to hear and be reminded of:

"So be determined. Don't settle for way less than what Jesus suffered and died to give you. Be honest about your relationships and be hopeful about change. You can do both, because in Jesus Christ you really do have everything you need to live in peace with God and the people he has placed in your life."-Paul Tripp

Delaney, thanks for being my best friend for so long. Thanks for pouring Christ into my life even when I make it difficult. Thanks for always being real with me. Thanks for being YOU. I'm grateful for your heart :)

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Follow Me.

Today I feel weird. Actually, for the past few weeks I've felt this way. And I think know that a lot of it  all of it has to do to with the fact that I'm waking up each morning and forgetting to whom I belong. I wonder why Jesus is allowing me to hurt. I get upset because things haven't turned out like I think they should have. I lie and tell myself that the things and the people of this world are important. That they matter. That they're what's going to fulfill me this very moment.

But they're not. And I know that. But sometimes knowing something in your head and really believing it in your heart are two different stories.

That's something else I've been struggling with lately - my mind telling me one thing, and my heart telling me another. It's confusing...really confusing. And scary. Scary that I've come to this place of not knowing the difference between what God's voice is telling me to do and what my own voice is trying to tell me is right. 

I just started reading a book called The Barbarian Way. This morning I was re-reading a chapter I glanced at a few days ago called "The Barbarian Call," but I think for the first time it hit me what the words were actually saying. Hit me as in they were pretty much a slap in the face.

It said this: "I wonder how many of us have lost our barbarian way and have become embittered with God, confused in our faith because God doesn't come through the way we think He should. Is it possible that the transforming  power of the church has been lost because we keep inviting people to step into the comfort, safety, and security of Jesus Christ? We've created a religious culture in which - even though we are the most blessed society on the history of the planet - our best-selling literature still focuses on how we can be more blessed. Maybe we need to step way back to the beginning of this movement. The original call of Jesus was so simple, so clean, so clear: 'Follow Me.' He wants us to surrender our lives to Him and follow Him into the unknown. And if it means a life of suffering, hardships, and disappointments, it will be worth it because following Jesus Christ is more powerful and more fulfilling than living with everything in the world minus Him. Have we forgotten this?"

I think, sadly, some days I do forget this. That I could have everything in this world, and it still wouldn't be enough without Jesus. And I forget that all He's asking us to do is simply follow. And If we do follow Him, everything else will fall into place. What a sweet, sweet gift. 

Tuesday, January 31, 2012


Confession: I really love Pintrest. Then again, what female between the ages of 13 and 83 doesn't??  It's safe to say that 3/4 of the time I'm on my computer, Pintrest is open in a tab somewhere. And I'm not complaining about it.

But a few months ago, I found something on Pintrest that I really liked. And that was a "grateful"/ I changed mine to "thankful" book, if you will. Every day for a year, you write down something you were thankful for that specific day, and when the year is over, you go back and read all your entries. Thus, you end up with 365 things! I tried to hold out, but realized I wasn't going to make it a year without going back and reading them all. Heck, I barely made it a  month....

So here are highlights of  just a few things I was thankful for this first month of 2012:

Jan. 4th - $5.00 Copper Cellar Burger Night. (Being the poor college kid that I am, this day of the week is always a treat. Especially when you get to go with your best friend.)
Jan. 7th - Christine's YoungLife girls. (It was SO fun being at Windy Gap with them and just hearing about what Jesus is doing in their lives.)
Jan. 9th - My grandparents being in Knoxville (This was the first time I'd seen them since Thanksgiving = a month too long. After watching my mom take care of them and love on them so well for a week, I realized I'd be thankful if someday I'm half the person she is.)
Jan 10th - The Price's, our CAK team family, and the way they are always so wonderful to us. (Welcome into the world Baby Roman -he's their newest, cutest addition! I loved holding you in my arms all night.)
Jan. 14th - Extreme Makeover Home Edition. (It was so so cool that EMHE came to Knoxville, and that we got to be a part of the experience in helping a family get a new home. Welcome home Watson family! Move. That. Bus.)
Jan. 17th  -  Not getting Teach For America. (This was really a blessing in disguise. And although I have absolutely NO clue what I'm doing after May, I'm thankful for where the Lord's placed me right now.)
Jan. 20th - Team Overnighttttts!!! (Like I've mentioned before, I love my YoungLife team . A whole whole lot. And getting to spend the weekend with them in a cabin on the lake was just perfect.)
Jan. 25th - small group being back. (I love my small group/ Mrs. Beth and had missed them over break.)
Jan. 28th - all I wrote was "Logan Thress." Haha love you Log. Happy St. Patrisss Day!
Jan. 31st - And today I'm thankful for friendships. Jesus has blessed me with a lot of really great ones. And that makes me happy :)

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Sex . Marriage . & Fairytales .

You've probably seen his video "Why I Hate Religion, But I Love Jesus", and if you haven't you should watch it. But I just found this video a few minutes ago on Facebook and have watched it at least 3 times already. It's amazing how so much truth can be spoken through someone in just 4 minutes...

p.s. If you need a good laugh this morning, check out Chelc's blog. True Life: We have a mockingbird living in the front lawn of Red Saile that needs to be taken care of. We are now accepting applications for prospective hunters. B.Y.O.B.B.G. (Bring Your Own B.B. Gun)

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

I'm only human.

Jesus Calling was so great today. And it made me realize this....

Sometimes I forget it's alright to be human. To feel. To mess up. To be broken. I forget that life's not meant to be what my idea of "perfect" is.  I forget that blessings come in times of trial. That it's okay to be weak. That it's okay to let others see the woundedness within me.

"But He said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.' Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly about my weakness, so that Christ's power may rest on me. This is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weakness, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong." - 2 Corinthians 12: 9-10

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

"I am most careful with you."

Sometimes when things don't turn out the way I think they should, a voice creeps inside my head and tells me lies that I'm not good enough.

Thank goodness for the even softer, yet more powerful voice, that whispers to me this:
"So be content with who you are, and don't put on airs. My strong hand is on you; I'll promote you at the right time. Live carefree before Me; I am most careful with you." 1 Peter 5: 6-7 (The Message)